Pick of the quarter

Issue: 106

Pick of the quarter

Pride of place this quarter must go to the devastating critique by Vivek Chibber (whose book, Locked in Place, John Game has reviewed in this issue of IS) of Niall Ferguson’s much-praised glorification of the British Empire, Colossus.

The latest issue of Science and Society had not arrived in England at the time of writing. But it looks as if it could be the best for a very long time. A special issue, guest edited by Martha Gimenez and Lise Vogel, promises a restatement of the Marxist-feminist case in opposition to postmodernism and locates women’s oppression within the dynamic of capitalist society. Keep a look out for it.

If you’ve read our transcript of the debate between John Holloway and Alex Callinicos, you might be interested in the spring 2005 issue of Capital and Class. It contains an extensive discussion on the arguments, with contributions from Holloway, Callinicos, Michael Lowy and others. In the same issue Tony Weiss provides a useful account of the economic and politics of Jamaica.

The November-December issue of New Left Review contains a very useful piece by Gérard Duménil and Dominique Levy on trends in inequality in the US, and the January-February issue an informative piece on Spain since Franco by Carlos Prieto, with particular attention to the national question.

Against the Current’s January issue contains a very good account of the Shia resistance in Baghdad’s Sadr City by Michael Schwartz, who has also written stuff for ZNet web magazine.

The publication of Pierre Broué’s history of the German Revolution of 1918-23 in English (to be reviewed in the next issue of IS) will make some readers want to go into the debates of the period. Revolutionary History (vol 8, no 4) provides translations for the first time of the views of one of the important actors in the events of 1923, August Thalheimer.

Gavin Capps reports that the latest Historical Materialism contains articles by ‘the best Marxists writing on Africa’. But prepare for some difficult reading, since much of the language is excessively abstract and academic.

For readers of French, the most recent issue of ContreTemps is a bit of a treat. It takes up the discussions which have erupted in France over secularism, religion and the state since the ban on the hijab, with contributions avoiding the Islamophobia of so much of the French left.

Of particular note are the article by Jean- Pierre Debourdeau and Samy Joshua (on the history of socialist debate on religion and the state); by Patrick Simon (on how the ‘universalism’ of the French state excludes ethnic minorities); by Michael Lowy (on Marxism and religion); and by Mohamed-Cherif Ferzani and Sadri Khairi (on trends and contradictions in Islamism today). As well as these there are pieces by Gilbert Achcar and myself.

Readers of Spanish should look at the new Argentinian journal Socialismo Revolucionario. It contains a thorough and convincing analysis by Martin Ogando of how Argentinian capitalism and its state survived the uprising of three and a half years ago